Written by OSU student Sydney Snider
For some of us, it takes years to discover our true passion, but that wasn’t the case for 22-year-old Adam Vonderhaar. For him, he discovered what his life’s work would be at the young age of 15.
“Working to plant a soybean crop during the summer after my freshman year of high school, I realized watching the product of my work grow and flourish was something I would always take great joy in. I knew I wanted to work alongside my parents and grandfather full-time following graduation,” said Adam.
The Vonderhaar family has been farming in Preble County since the 1950s. They primarily farm soybeans, corn and wheat. Currently, Adam’s grandfather and father farm the family’s land and he is excited to join them now that he’s earned a degree in agricultural systems management, but that wasn’t the program he originally pursued.
“I found my fit in agricultural systems management going into my junior year at OSU,” said Adam. “Before that, I was an agricultural business and applied economics major, but I realized it wasn’t for me. I contacted Dewey Mann, the chair of the agricultural systems management major, and he gave me a tour of the facilities and a description of the classes I’d take. After that, I was sold.”
Adam shared how thankful he is for his education at OSU and believes his coursework and experiences have prepared him to help expand his family’s knowledge and capabilities in the precision-agriculture sector.
Despite being the only one with plans to return to the farm, Adam isn’t the only Vonderhaar sibling with a passion for agriculture. His twin brother, Ryan, graduated from OSU in May 2018 with a degree in agricultural communication and is now a leadership consultant for FarmHouse fraternity. Their sister, Caroline, is currently studying animal science at University of Findlay.
“My favorite memory growing up in agriculture was every adventure I went on with my twin brother and little sister around the farm,” said Adam. Now that he plans to return to the farm, he hopes he can share those adventures with his future children.
“Farming is a career my family is blessed to work in, and I’m happy and excited to continue our legacy,” he proudly stated. Farming is a valuable family business and with Adam’s growing passion, it’s something many future generations of Vonderhaars are sure to experience.